For various reasons, a number of projects have come to a bit of a standstill and I held a meeting yesterday to try and inject some momentum into them, so I can hand over knowing that things are making progress.
I’ve recently read Switch by Chip & Dan Heath and thought I’d try to use some of their ideas to motivate my team to get things done.
The first technique I used was to show the team that many of the projects were underway and that they were already 20/30% towards their goal. This was based on the research in the book about loyalty cards (such as at car washes or coffee shops) which shows that people are far more likely to finish and redeem a card if you give them a head start, such as a couple of free stamps.
For a couple of the projects the issues were that we trying to do too much at once and had been over-ambitious in our goals, which meant that people had got frustrated when progress was slow and abandoned things when they couldn’t see the next steps. For these projects I ‘shrank the change’ and focused on the small, simple, next tasks that we could do for each project to get things going again and tried to provide clarity over what was needed.
Finally, I reminded the team of past successes, demonstrated how they’d overcome problems in the past (even when things looked tough) and then got all of them to verbally agree to what the next action would be in various areas.
I followed this up by sending notes with clear, small tasks that each person needs to undertake in the next few days and with a promise that we’ll review these again before I leave.The next month will tell if these actions will have any impact, but hopefully I’ll be able to report good progress and handover to my successor with a clear conscience.
Switch on UK Amazon: